What are the differences between national labs and industry?

Many PhDs go on to fulfilling careers at various national labs. Clicking on the links below will connect you with the jobs/internships pages of each lab.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) has 27 institutes and centers
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) labs: 
US Department of Energy National Labs (Federal and Non-Federal):

Search for other government jobs at usajobs.gov. Please note that these job postings are usually only open for 3-5 days so it is imperative that you have a profile set up and materials ready ahead of time. Networking to learn of impending openings is also highly valuable.

Mentors with Relevant Experience

Careers Beyond Academia has a number of mentors eager to speak with PhD students and postdocs. Please contact our office at gradcareers@cornell.edu to connect with the mentor that aligns with your interests!

Federally Funded Research Labs

The National Science Foundation maintains a master list of all federally funded R&D centers (FFRDCs). They are administered by industrial firms, nonprofit institutions and universities and colleges, including university consortia. Together they conduct various activities in research and development laboratories, study and analysis centers, and systems engineering and integration centers in the following locations:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Apply for Research Funding

Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program awards at DOE labs

(U.S. grad students): to pursue part of your thesis research at a DOE laboratory/facility with access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories/facilities. Work in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist from any of the participating DOE national laboratories/facilities for 3 -12 consecutive months.

Risk and Compliance Resources

Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA has an annual meeting in the summer; please request to be added to their discussion forum)

Cornell's Laboratory Safety Manual and Chemical Hygiene Plan offers links to training, obligations of the PI or lab manager and examples of Standard Operating Procedures.

Deloitte's Risk Management Framework for Federal Agencies

DIA-for those interested in regulatory affairs

Environmental Health and Safety Association of New York, Inc. (SEHSA)

Biotech Primer's compendium of drug development acronyms

FDA's acronym database

FDA GUIDEBOOK compiled by the New York State Science & Technology Law Center

FDA's Internship and Fellowship opportunity listing

Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Research Integrity has very interesting real misconduct case studies and an interactive video where you can role-play to affect the outcome based on which decisions you make in that character role

MedTech's regulatory resources

National Biosafety & Biocontainment Program (NIH)

Price Waterhouse Cooper's Governance, Risk and Compliance consulting services

Strategy& helps life sciences clients who need to hire those with more interdisciplinary academic training

TechnologyEd offers online courses in the regulatory environment and more

Thompson Reuters Governance Risk & Compliance solutions

US Department of State Jobs in ThinkTanks includes a listing of all US think tank organizations

Watson School of Engineering & Applied Science, Binghamton University Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt Training